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Bob Larson Newhouse H-2A Amendment
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: July 26, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. When the Fiscal Year 2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Act cleared the House Appropriations Committee last week, it included an amendment that would extend the H-2A program to include all of agriculture.

U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse says he wanted to get this important addition included …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “Yes, I did, was able to get accepted into an appropriations bill. The, something to do with H-2A that will actually improve the program. Right now, not all of the agricultural industry can utilize H-2A because of the seasonal, temporary nature of the workers. And that’s fine, but that doesn’t work for everybody.”

The Sunnyside Republican says there are a number of Ag industries, that often struggle to find enough labor, that would be helped by this extension …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “There are several aspects of the Ag economy that come to mind, but primarily is the dairy industry where cows are not seasonally milked. Dairies need employees year-round and they are not currently eligible to utilize H-2A. And so, this would remove that restriction, take out the words temporary and seasonal so that dairies could also utilize the H-2A program.”

Newhouse says the H-2A-visa foreign guest-worker program was set up to assist a majority of the Ag industry tied to seasonal or growing cycles, leaving groups like dairy scrambling to find workers year-round.

Listen tomorrow for more on why this bill is important and what it will take to make it law.

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